We work our school year by the actual calendar year, starting in January after the holiday's cease and ending in December before Solstice. This gives us flexibility in our year to take time off for other things that don't coincide with the public school system calendar. As long as we get in the 180 days of school for the year, I feel we've met Florida's (very relaxed) standards.
Next year I think I want to try something different than what we've been doing. For once in my parenting life I'm not pregnant or with a newborn. And there's no chance I will be. Max will be two come the start of our next homeschool year. Powered by his own feet and needing only limited "baby" supplies, I think we'll be able to do a lot of trips and outings that just aren't possible with a new baby. I'm excited about that.
With our quest to become self-sufficient homesteaders I think we've neglected one vital aspect of the journey; the kids. They've overheard our talking and share our goals insomuch as a kid can. They like the idea of having goats, chickens and horses, but they don't really understand what a dramatic change this will be in our lives. I want to rectify that.
So, this next school year, starting in 2011, I am going to change up our regular school goals of working to advance to the next grade level. I got a wonderful book from MOSI called The young naturalist's guide to Florida. by Lantz and Hale. The book is great, starting with information on the state and advancing through 32 lessons on the various ecosystems, envionmental careers, recycling, watershed and more. I plan do to one lesson a week, taking the kids to explore each of the areas the book discusses. I'd like to get them involved in 4H so they can learn more about the animals we want to raise. I want them to get dirty (which isn't really a hard task to complete) and dig into the Earth around them to understand why what we want to do is so vitally important.
We will still do math and reading and all the other lessons needed to raise intelligent and educated kids, but I want to change our homeschool ideals to match the ones in our lives. It's a new adventure and I'm exicited to start it.